Research is at the heart of the School of Arts and Sciences enterprise as it represents–in conjunction with teaching–the life’s work of our faculty members. They, in conjunction with grad students and some undergraduates, are committed to the creation of new knowledge, to new ways of understanding how we think and how we do things–what it may mean to be a chemist or a musician. It doesn’t matter if the research is theoretical or applied, whether it focuses on the character in fiction or the behavior of a microcell the research mission, along with teaching, is the driving force behind the arts and sciences and the graduate school of arts and sciences. Intertwined with teaching is the excitement and challenge of research permeates the classrooms and our faculty members bring to classes the vibrancy of their personal challenges and intellectual quests.
What sets Tufts apart is that our faculty pursue their own research with the assistance of graduate students but–and this is a huge but–our graduate students are encouraged to pursue their own research with the assistance of their advisers. At Tufts people follow their own research passions. This works because our grad students do not fall through the cracks: they see their advisers every day, maybe even multiple times a day. We understand the relationship between mentoring, advisement, and ultimately successful, productive research. Last, passions do not always fall along disciplinary lines. Although almost all our research inevitably comes through one of our academic departments, the barriers between departments are lowered and it is not uncommon for biologists to be working with chemists and engineers and for engineers to be working with mathematicians and for literature scholars to be working with high school educators.